tv Special Report With Bret Baier FOX News December 29, 2009 6:00pm-7:00pm EST
charles: this is the best audience in television, i'm telling you. from new york, good night, america. see you later. jim: next on "special report" the president blames a systemic failure for the christmas bomb attempt and iran lashes out to iran and the anti-western allies for backing government protestors, and governors try to present their budgets from going under, and an inside look at iraq's most vulnerable. how children have become victims of violence and corruption. all that, plus the panel. "special report" starts now. choip. welcome to washington. president obama says there was a
systemic failure in security that led together terror attack. steve centanni is traveling with the president and joining us from honolulu. steve, the president took another break from his vacation to go before cameras. in an attempt leading up to the failed christmas day terror attack, the president pointed to dangerous flaws an outdated security system and said there were bits of information that should have been pieced together but weren't. >> this were systemic failures that contributed to this catastrophic breach of security. we need to learn from this episode and act quickly to fix the flaws in our system, because our security is at stake and lives are at stake. >> the president says this is unacceptable and pointed to information the government had in its possession will umar farouk abdul muttallab weeks
before he bounded the flight to blow up the plane. muttallab's own father reported his extremist views to the ambassador in nigeria and that was passed on to the intelligence community and he was placed on a master list containing more than a half million names of people with possible terror ties but the information failed to land muttallab on the no-fly list. >> had this critical information been shared it could have been compiled with other intelligence and a fuller clear picture of the suspect would have emerged. the warning signs would have triggered red flags and the sus spingts would have never been allowed to board that plane for america. as as he and his aides have said several times, the president repeated today that the failed watch system has been in place for years and it was, in fact, instituted by the bush administration. one national security official has told us there had been a continuous reassessment of that
system since obama took office. if so, recent events have made clear that those flaws were not fixed in time. in spite of that, the president praised intelligence officials and says progress has been made against al qaeda. >> it's also my job to ensure that our intelligence, law enforcement and homeland security systems and the people in them are working effectively and held accountable. i intend to fulfill that responsibility, and insist on accountability at every level. >> the president also said that preliminary results of the two reviews that he has ordered will be on his desk by thursday or here at the white house in hawaii by thursday. the more comprehensive formal reviews won't be done for several weeks. back to you. >> steve centanni with the president in hawaii. thanks for that. even before the president acknowledged serious failures in our security system, critics questioned whether those gaffes
could have been prevented. wendell goler looks at where systems are in place and where the problems lie. >> since security is almost always a compromise between civil liberty and government intrusion, security failures inevitably raise questions about the balance. >> we're talking about this is sort of a perennial nightmare of civil libertarians data sharing between the private players like the airlines and the government. >> airlines don't have access to the government's comprehensive terrorist data base. they screen travelers based on the smaller no-fly lift, but there was enough to flag umar abdul muttallab for a secondary screening that might have kept him off the plane. >> he was rejected for a reece is a in england, flying without luggage, paying for his ticket in cash, a young kid not on a student visa going to the united states, missing this document, missing that document. >> the similarities between be abdul muttallab and richard reid, the shoe bomber's attack
shows we're not connecting the dots after 9/11. we have the technology to find the threats but the full body scanner is only installed in a handful of airports. it is expensive and intrusive. >> congress last year killed a bill that would have required that the machines were to be used at a substantial number of airports. >> what david rivkin sees as less aggressive screening in the obama administration is just one change from former president george w. bush. more telling to him is what happened after abdul muttallab was arrested or rather what didn't happen. >> if this guy was treated as an enemy combatant and interrogated as such, even with the kindellest, gentlest intir gation techniques, you could have at least got an shot at gaining some intelligence information. >> but civil liberties groups say that kind of thinking filled the detention facility at guantanomo bay with people the u.s. can't convict and doesn't dare release. what is missing is strong leadership at the transportation
security agency and the customs and border protection agencies, both still waiting for congress to confirm the president's nominees. >> the leadership at t.s.a. is very timid. people at homeland security are waiting on approval from the white house to move out on things. >> the president didn't nominate heads for the two agencies until a few months ago and then came politics, confirmation hearings delayed by the healthcare debate and the t.s.a. hearing put on hold by a republican concerned the president's nominee might let his workers unionize. neither hearing has been held yet. wendell goler, fox news. >> republican congressman dan burton is calling for janet napolitano to resign. in a statement, burton blamed the security lapses that led to friday's failed terror attack on napolitano alone, quote "secretary napolitano does not have the background or experience necessary to execute her responsibilities." as investigators delve deeper into the background of the young nigerian man who attempted to blow up that airplane, new
details have emerged about his past and how he was recruited. as national correspondent catherine herridge tells us now, the would-be bomber had a history of telltale behavior. >> these f.b.i. pictures first obtained by abc news show the bomb stitched into the suspect's underwear. the device is described as an evolution in terror tactics. fox news has learned that investigators plan to compare d.n.a. from the suspect 23-year-old umar farouk abdul muttallab with d.n.a. found in the underwear in the bomb to determine if0th irs were involved, d.n.a. that is different from the suspect will be further evidence of a broader conspiracy. >> it is like any crime scene, you have to maximize your ability to retain what is there at the time you get there. the picture emerging of the suspect is of a young man who is isolated and adrift. writings on the internet by farouk 1986, a combination of his name and birth year, are being reviewed by federal essentials and the authenticity of the write something is not
independently verified n january 2005, muttallab apparently wrote, i have no one spo speak to, no one to consult, no one to support me and i feel depressed and lonely, and then i think this loneliness les me to other problems." terrorism analysts say the recruitment of muttallab follows a familiar pattern. >> they seem to be social misfits, richard reid, some of the characters involved in the 9/11 plot. al qaeda was expertly positioned to pluck them out and to basically offer them a sense of larger community, are religious identification, and then they took them into the terrorist arm. >> two former guantanomo detainees seen in this propaganda video were transferred by president bush to a saudi rehab program in 2007. they are are now at the forefront of al qaeda in yemen. u.s. officials say it's premature to conclude the men were behind the attacks but analysts say that time at gitmo is like a badge of honor.
>> those that come back from jihad are considered rock stars. they leave as lieutenant colonels and come back as major generals. >> fox news has learned that investigators are praying new attention to the attempted assassination of a saudi principle mortalized in this propaganda video and similarities to flight 253. both were claimed by al qaeda in yemen. they used by the same explosive, pten concealed on the body. >> the right explosives to cause damage and were huesing human mules as the delivery device. >> senior u.s. official tells fox that the radical cleric that is an american citizen living in yemen has gone from propaganda to operations, and the same cleric linked to the fort food shooter in november to the spiritual advisor to major hasan. not all government officials believe that he has crossed an important threshold, he clearly a rising star within al qaeda. >> catherine, there was some indication, or at least some reporting last week that perhaps
he had been killed in one of these air strikes. authorities now say in fact he was able to escape. >> u.s. officials said to me that it is now indeterminant. in other words, they don't know either way and are waiting for some proof like a web posting or video that has a contemporaneous reference to indicate he is still alive but the working assumption is that he did escape >> catherine herridge, thank you. >> coming up, questions about etle had care reform remain unanswered and states across the country worry about what reform will cost them but first, iran's government tries to silence the opposition and blames the unrest on foreigners.
s in world headlines an afghan soldier wounded two italian soldiers today when he opened fire at a base in western afghanistan. the shooting appears to be have been deliberate but the military is still investigating. meanwhile, six militants were killed and 8 wounded in an overnight clash with afghan security forces in the northern part of the country. two afghan soldiers and a member of the afghan national police were also killed in the two-hour-long fight. pakistani authorities are appealing for calm after monday's bombing in karachi that killed 43 people. the attacks sparked riots as people rampaged through the city, setting fire to markets and stores. hundreds of shops have been destroyed at a cost of millions
of dollars. iranian authorities are cracking down on opposition protestors who have escalated their anti-government demonstrations. as correspondent amy kellogg tells us, the iranian regime had a strong message today for anyone who tries to support the demonstrators. >> iran's leaders are now blaming the unrest on foreign enemies. president ahmadinejad called the opposition rallies, quote, a nauseating masquerade ordered by zionists and americans and iran's foreign minister said if britain doesn't stop making comments about iran's affairs it will receive a punch in the mouth. the brittish ambassador to iran was summoned to the foreign ministry in iran today, according to the brittish foreign office, he defended britain's call to respect human rights in iran. meanwhile, the are regime is trying to shore up its support base with pro government rallies today. thousands took to the streets, some calling for the arrest of opposition leader and others proclaimed they would give their
life for iran's supreme leader. there has been a wave of arrests to silence critics and the sister of this woman, nobel peace prize winner and human rights lawyer was detained yesterday, and iran's speaker of the parliament lashed out at president obama specifically and his support of those calling for democratic freedoms. >> mr. obama should be embarrassed about the anti-human rights behavior of his troops in guantanomo, abu ghraib, afghanistan and iraq. we declare that your admiration for this group will both ruin your reputation and reveal just who this anti-religion group is linked to. >> he went on to say that it falls on the shoulders of the ruling system now to confront the protestors more firmly, and a clerical representative of iran's supreme leader called opposition leaders, quote, enemies of god, and in iran, the punishment of that under sharia law can be execution. amy kellogg, fox news. >> russian prime minister vladimir putin says u.s. plans
for a missile defense system have been the main obstacle to reaching a new deal to reduce nuclear weapons arsenals. the u.s. and russia are in talks in a successor to the 1991 strategic arms reduction treaty that expired on december 5. both sides say an agreement is near. somali pirates have hijacked a brittish chemical tanker in the gulf of aden. the first attack there in six months, the tanker, headed to thailand, sent out a distress ship but the closestship was 30 minutes away. a similar attack was in the indian ocean but not believed to be related. a car bomb exploded outside a baghdad government building wounding at least five people. the attacks over the weekend targeted religious pilgrims. the ongoing violence in iraq has scarred much of the country's youngest generation. >> that's the menacing sound of
a ransom demand, the voice is threatening to sever the limbs of a teenaged boy unless his father hands over his thousand dollars. the it caused a shock so man that the man suffered an instant stroke. >> when they told me they kidnapped my boy, i couldn't cope. >> this is that man, and that boy, now reunited, they relive their ordeal. >> i was pushing my bike when i was grabbed and thrown in a car. >> the kidnappers held mohammed for 7 days and he was blindfolded and tied with wire and steel pipe the entire time. >> i saw everything and went around the neighborhood and begged people to lend me the ransom money. >> mohammed is one example of the emerging crisis and the vulnerability of iraqi children. the statistics are shocking, most of iraq's 15 million children, half the nation's entire population, has suffered some form of serious trauma since 2003. >> many are the victims of
divorce. either their mothers can't support them or men won't accept the kids from a former marriage so they get thrown out. >> 10% have lost a parent. sexual exploitation is endemic and youngsters are still targeted for recruitment by extremist groups. this is the only orphanage in kirkuk, northern iraq's second biggest city and there is just boys. no one wants the girls just yet. these are the fortunate ones as they receive an education where 90% of kids don't go to skill. there are just 13 children living here. that's all hey can handle at the moment, a tiny fraction of the many thousands. this are tens of thousands of children at risk and in need of care here in iraq. >> because of the war, many won't be able to grow up in good well balanced people. anger and depression will cause many problems for many generations to come. >> that's not what the freedom of iraq was supposed to be about. it was about hope, and the dream of a better life. some of these children have a
vision of that, but who knows how many will actually get to see it? in kirkuk's northern iraq, fox news. >> still ahead, the rising cost of healthcare and how some patients are turning to an alternative source for treatment. and two mortgage giants get another boost from the treasury department. that's coming up next.
dropped 1 1/2 and snazz dack gave back 2 2/3. freddie mac and fannie mae have asked for more federal funds. what you can tell us? >> the obama administration giving fannie and freddie last week a bigger bailout. no limit on the amount of taxpayer money that the treasury could invest in them over the next three years, a move that means taxpayers could be on the hook for billions more in losses with the companies. fannie and freddie are critical to the mortgage market. they hold or ensure about 5 1/2 trillion in mortgages about half of all the mortgages in the country. previously, the administration said it would invest at most $400 billion in the two companies. now, the treasury has given them a blank check to help continue government efforts to stabilize the housing markets. an analysts say the changes will help fannie and freddie continue to provide new cash, liquidity
to the mortgage market to allow banks an investors to continue to offer plenty of mortgages to home buyers. the unlimited credit line allows the company to become bigger players which could help keep mortgage rates low. finally, the unlimited backstop could a allow fannie and freddie to outright buy and modify more mortgages from struggling homeowners to some save them frm foreclosure by giving them more affordable monthly payments. so far, the treasury has invested $110 billion in fannie and freddie since taking them over and the administration expects possible taxpayer losses at the companies at no more than $170 billion over ten years, but with the housing market still weak, unemployment high, and some new technical accounting rules, a former fannie official thinks the losses at the companies could grow much bigger. >> they have already passed $110 billion. we are talking about a couple hundred billion more over time, and ultimately $300 billion, $400 billion over the next one to two to three years.
>> now, policy makers promised to figure out what to do with fannie and freddie long term and permanently including whether to turn them into true government agencies or make them private companies with no government support. chris. >> peter barnes on the business beat. thanks for that. the house ethics committee has reportedly announced a review of democratic congressman peter stark of california. the committee did not disclose the nature of the investigation, but it was previously reported stark had collected a state tax credit on a home he owns in maryland. if you have ever wondered about the side effects of combining malt liquor and marijuana and of course, we all have, well, the federal government has the answer, and we'll tell you how taxpayer dollars are being used to help illegal immigrants who cross the border. who need
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chris: and now the latest from the political grapevine. remember the president's $787 stimulus package that was going to turn around the economy? well, we're continuing to find out where some of that money went. boaz man, montana is spending $1 52 million on new tennis courts and $189,000 to a new york college to study the combined use of malt liquor and marijuana in young adults. it was awarded eight months ago and according to refer recovery.gov, it has created or saved a total of two jobs, and northwestern university received $712,000 to build a machine-generated humor model. the study hopes to create intelligent comedic performance agents for the enjoyment and illumination of everyday citizens. that's what it says. it is less than half done and reported 3.6 jobs. the justice department's voting
rights cheek who recommended going forward on a civil complaint against members of the new black panther party has been removed from his post and transferred to the u.s. attorney's office in south carolina. the "the washington times" reports christopher coates signed off on the original complaint that accused several black panthers of intimidating voters at a philadelphia polling station last november. the complaint was later dismissed by obama political appointees at the justice department. a spokeswoman said the decision to move coates to a new position has nothing to do with the case. finally, faculty members of the university of california san diego are rusing federal dollars to develop a g.p.s.-enabled cell phone that would direct illegal border crossers to drinking water. the quote, trance-border immigrant tool would allow users to follow arrows on the screen to nearby water stations where the $15,000 grant from the federal government, the designers hope to hand the
phones out for free in mexico. one faculty dismisses critics saying this will encourage illegal immigration arguing, quote, there are many areas in which every american would say i don't like the way my tax doll loors are being spent. our answer to that is an and in-your-face so what?" half of americans received receiving coverage under the healthcare bill would be put into medicare where costs are shared by the state. that that has some governors in the country pushing back. jim angle reports. >> the democratic healthcare reform sounds an easy way to increase the number of people with insurance, force the states to cover many under medicaid, healthcare for the poor. >> some states say they're facing crushing deficits and couldn't imagine doing any kind of expansion. >> because states have to pay part of the cost of medicaid and many are already are running huge deficits and by law, they must balance their budgets. take california, for instance, governor around sold
schwarzneggar faces $60 billion in a state deficit and has cut $30 billion out of everything from higher education to social programs, to prisons, to state salaries. >> they're going to require us to cover about 2 million more people. that's going to cost us three to four billion annually, which we simply don't have. >> governor schwarzneggar supports universal healthcare but argued that new federal mandates will make the situation worse, not better. he wrote to speaker nancy pelosi and other state law lawmakers saying i'm telling you our medicaid program is already at the breaking point and if federal healthcare reform is add passed without addressing the underlying failures of the healthcare system, healthcare reform will fail. >> it is another unfunded mandate on the states. >> diane feinstein expressed similar concerns saying medicaid extension might even, as she put it, take down the state. officials in both parties from oather states have the same problem, and the same objections. >> the plan that they're
discussing in washington, d.c. will cost the state of texas between $3 and $6 billion more each year. every option is on the table. we have dealt significantly with medicaid issues, you're going to see a lot of adjustments to medicaid. >> that was tremendous stress on our ability to manage the program. >> i want to expand healthcare, but in my state, medicaid, because the rates have been cut are so much, there are places in my state that even if you're on medicaid, it doesn't really matter much, because no one will serve you. >> i know alabama has asked their governors, the attorney generals that investigate whether or not the federal government can require states to do this. i have also heard some states talk about getting out of medicaid altogether because they simply can't afford it. >> so ensuring millions by putting them into medicaid is a time bomb buried in healthcare reform, one that might blow up in the faces of lawmakers in washington, because some lawmakers back home think those
in washington have lost their minds. chris. chris: jim, thanks. long wait times an doctor shortages have forced more and more people to go to urgent care facilities for treatment. one group is concerned that this will leave primary care physicians out in the cold. >> so, what can i do for you today? >> um, i guess is diagnose what is wrong with me. >> jason is too busy to be sick. >> i'm visiting grandparents and family. >> we met jason at the rocky mountain urgent care clinic aurora, colorado. the med scal stop-in is one of about 8,000 in the nation, double the number from four years ago. >> it is much more convenient, less costly. >> urgent care visits run about $100 to $150 per visit. screenings start at $40 and you can usually get right in.
>> the primary care is booked solid all the time. so 100% of the time we go to a walk-in clinic like this. >> the american academy of family physicians acknowledges long lobby waits and a shortage of family docs led to the rise but warns vital information can be lost in the pursuit of convenience. >> we all need to do better about communicating with what is happening to patients across the board. >> clinics aren't required to notify primary care doctors when they have treated someone. it is often up to the patient to keep their doctor in the loop. i think that's unfair, and what we have recognized is that when the patient is sick, that is the time when it's the very hardest for a patient to be their owned a voe cat. >> and providers worry a lack of knowledge about a patient's history could create a hazard. >> particularly in retail clinics, which are propping up in pharmacies, big box stores and supermarkets. they offer limited services like vaccinations and treatments and colds but are usually only
stamped by physicians assistants or practitioners. what do patients like about retail clinics? they said they want to be able to see a physician ideally, but they want to be able to get their medical care when they need it, and so our response has to be that we need to retool and transform our practices so that they are patient centered. >> urgent care providers argue they provide just as good of service as many docs, and say their popularity proves it. chris: the world health organization says it could take another year to defeat the h1n1 virus and that while the flu outbreak has peaked in the u.s. and canada, it remains a serious threat in other countries. the disease has killed more than 11,000 people since last april. president obama now says there was a systemic failure in security that allowed the attempted terror attack on
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>> what is apparent is that there was human and systemic failures that contributed to the catastrophic breach of security. >> well, that was president obama late this afternoon addressing the attempted christmas day terror attack for the second time in as many days. let's bring in the panel. fred barnes of the weekly standard, a.b. stoddard of the hill and syndicated columnist charles krauthammer. the president tried again today to get out ahead of the outrage over the lapses that led or contributed to this man getting on this plane, and attempting to set off a bomb. charles, how did he do this time? >> well, this was an exercise in
image repair. the president pretended that there was -- the reason he came out a day after his first address was because there was new information. he cited the fact that the nigerian attacker's father had appeared at the embassy and of course that was known already earlier in the weekend, and secondly he said whereas the information had left the u.s. embassy in nigeria and arrived in washington, it hadn't been properly shared but everybody knew that as well. chris: so why did he come out? >> because there's outrage here at the incompetence of this administration, the fact that his secretary of homeland security, who's clearly over her head, had gone out on sunday and pretended the system succeeded and then had to walk it back and then when the president came out himself after waiting three days, he appeared detached and cool as he spoke about this as a criminal act, speaking about a suspect, alleged attempt, about it as an isolated extremist. in fact, we already knew about
the connection in yemen. this is an attempt by the administration, by the president himself, over and over again, to disconnect these kinds of attacks from the war on terror, which of course he declared over at his inauguration, and which, unfortunately, al qaeda has not, and as a result of that, you know, people ought to ask him, do you still believe he is an isolated extremist? today he repeated the word extremist over and over again. what kind of extremist is he? is he a jihadist and people ought to ask him, are you still going to release the 80 yemonis in guantanomo? lieberman said iraq was the war of yesterday and yemen the war of tomorrow. it will be a lot easier to handle these 80 yemonis in guantanomo than in the wilds of yemen which is where they're going to end up if released and plan more attacks on the united states. chris: i'm just getting a report as we're talking, and where does
it come from, are doug? fox can confirm that the c.i.a. had apparently been tracking this fella, abdul muttallab, since august, and so it seems that the lapse, the failure to connect the dots, if you will, really is more egregious than we even knew about. >> this is ams amazing. i agree with charles that the president came out to try to get ahead of the outrage, because he acknowledged no outrage yesterday. this is just a staggering story, the fact that this man -- what we know, there will be a next time, and we won't be lucky enough to have a warning from someone's father, and why this man was able to stay on this broad list and never make it to a selectee list where he would require more screening or a no-fly list and now to learn the c.i.a. has been tracking him and that we don't -- we still have him on a plane, possibly without passport but definitely one way, no luggage, in cash, all the warning signals ignored is just
so incredible and the president has to acknowledge that everyone is asking these questions. everybody knows this was a systemic failure. chris: this is not the first time that this president, this administration has had this problem of being slow off the mark to kind of understand where the public's mood was, i think particularly back to last june when there were an awful lot of people around the country and the world were outraged by the carnage in the streets after the iranian election and after day after day before finally the president caught up with public opinion and he seems to have taken what is it now, about four days, five days, to have caught up with public outrage about the lapses that led to this guy being on that plane. >> he has been awfully slow, but i think there is something and you were on to something chris a minute or two ago when we heard that the c.i.a. had been tracking this guy. sure, the president wants to get out ahead of public opinion at least on the right side, but he also wants to get ahead of the facts. when he used the word
"catastrophic," it's pretty tough word. there are more facts coming out, the first about the c.i.a. having tracked this terrorist. there are other things, too. it's been reported that the terrorist actually had met with at least once and maybe more times the same imam in yemen who had been doing all the e-mails with cap captain hasan -- >> major hasan. >> didn't mean to demote him. major hasan of the fort hood massacre, and now we hear another story going around that his father, the nigerian banker, didn't just go to the u.s. embassy once. he went there three times, and yet all these things happened, and he still gets on the plane. >> you know, charles, you talked about janet napolitano, the secretary of homeland security, former governor of arizona and you said you think she is over her head. this phrase that she used last week and in several appearance on sunday shows where she said the system worked is now going
to rival george w. bush during katrina saying you're doing a heck of a job. now, it is becoming part of the national conversation. >> it's unfortunate, but whatever happens in his career, this will be howb we remember her. a person who said two days after an attack that almost killed 300 americans, that the system had worked. she was a decent governor. she shouldn't be be in this position. she has no experience, and her reaction was entirely inappropriate, but also the president's reaction, the reason he showed up again today because yesterday he just looked cool and detached and unconcerned. he shows up without a tie, and then he says in his statement "we will not rest until we find those involved" and then he hops into a golf cart and continues his game. you know, this is serious stuff. you have to demonstrate seriousness, and the fact that he continually avoids speaking of the nature of the enemy, which ask jihadism, is a sign of
him not willing to acknowledge what every american understands is reality. >> you can't avoid the impression that rather being on offense in the fight against terrorism, going on defense. i agree with senator diane feinstein said the other day that look, if you're going to err in the war on terrorism, err on the side of overreacting rather than underreacting. the bush's policy was to overreact. the obama policy is to underreact. >> diane feinstein, is the democratic chairman of the intelligence committee. when we come back, iran continues a crackdown on pro democracy protestors. the panel weighs in on that, next.
>> cheap remarks by foreign officials supporting iran's opposition movement are trip cal of their disgraceful record and contradictory interactions with iran. chris: that was iran's foreign minister condemning comments from president obama and other foreign leaders supporting anti-government protestors and we're back now with the panel. there were two big developments today, first of all, iranian president ahmadinejad dismissed the opposition rallies, the anti-government rallies in the streets as foreign-backed, quote, nauseating masquerades, and an intelligence report out of there says iran is trying to smuggle 1,300 tons of ure rain uranium ore into the country because it running out of the material to make enriched uranium. fred, what do you make about it? >> things are worse and worse. it is time for obama to tell the irannians look, their time is up. he offered his open hand and so on and wanted to negotiate. they don't want to negotiate.
in their regime now in iran is at tipping point. it is going to go one way or another. it is not just about an election that is stolen. it is about the future of iran. they are desperate to get nuclear weapons for one thing. i think that would strengthen the regime among other things and it's not surprising because we hear this from many autocratic protestors around the world earlier. they want to know where president obama is. obama, which side are you on? i don't know which side he's on. he is certainly not doing anything to help the protestors. they want him to be loudly on their side. i don't think they expect him to come and send troops or to do anything tangible, but they want him to speak out on their side. you know, for the iranians like ahmadinejad, they say foreigners are involved and the foreign minister said he was going to slap the brittish and so on, but the iranians are involved in countries all over the middle east, either through proxies or on their own, in iraq, lebanon,
israel, in many, many countries are. chris: a.b. there are growing calls for this and growing talk about this that there is a tipping point as to whether or not this regime is going to fall or is just going to maintain itself. first of all, i question, having been in iran, whether, in fact, the regime is in as much jeopardy of falling. it is pretty entrenched there, but does the president have anything to lose were he to say at this point with the failure of the last year of diplomatic engagement to say the regime is illegitimate. i'm on the side of the protestors and the era of engagement is over. >> when there is negotiations on the table, pending talks about a real transfer of uranium, he was treating ahmadinejad as a legitimate leader, those days are over. his own self-imposed dead behind has arrived. this trial period has ended. president obama does not have to admit defeat but he has to make clear to the iranians, the opposition movement, the regime and to us what the consequences are for iran's failure to engage
and he has to do it soon. we're all waiting for this thursday's deadline. time is running out with the developments about uranium in kazakhstan with development in the streets of iran. he has to tell us right now what iran is going to face. it's watching this engagement policy. chris: i was watching you last night at home and i think you use theed the phrase an inflection point in the history of iran. do you really think that? if your heart goes out when you see the demonstrators in the street and you see the way they are put down, do you really think that they pose an existential threat to the are regime? >> they do. it is more likely that the regime will prevail but i think it's not at all impossible that the regime will fall. it happens in a moment. it happens always unexpectedly when the troops out there in the streets refuse orders and don't shoot. when that happens, that regime
is dead. remember how entrenched we had assumed the shah was? that happened to him. the troops in the streets wouldn't shoot. that's why it is a possible historical inflection and we ought to be pushing as hard as we can to increase the odds of it actually happening and the way to do it, look, the administration has said we don't want to say anything inflammatory r remember in june, obama had defended himself in saying if we support the demonstrators, they will pin this all on us and associate the demonstrators with the west. well, of course, we were signed up in june and the iranian authorities implicated us in those uprisings as well, so it's going to happen anyway. in other words, why not actively support if we're going to be blainled one way or the other? and it's not just rhetorical support. we ought to be working with the muslim allies in bringing this
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